New Zealand opt to bat in first Sri Lanka Test

Both sides have selected three spinners

Sri Lanka New Zealand Cricket New Zealand's Tom Latham watches his shot as Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella, left, follows the ball during the day one of the first test cricket match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Galle, Sri Lanka | AP

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and chose to bat in the first Test against hosts Sri Lanka in Galle.

The two-test series is the first for both teams in the newly launched World Test Championship. It features top nine test-playing nations competing in a league across two years. The Kiwis return to cricket action in the World Test Championship after losing to England last month.

Both sides have selected three spinners, with the pitch expected to offer turn for slow bowlers.

Rain in the island nation hasn't helped New Zealand in their preparation but Williamson expects his players to rely on their past experience.

"Rain most days, so hasn't been a huge amount of cricket and preparation. It's important guys pull in their past experiences and just look forward to the challenge ahead," Williamson said at the toss.

The Kiwis have opted for two seamers, Trent Boult and Tim Southee, while leaving out Neil Wagner, who took nine wickets in their last Test match.

"Last time we played in South Africa, we did really well. We need to keep the momentum and compete with New Zealand,” siad Dimuth Karunaratne.

The Sri Lankan side has given wicket-keeping duties to Niroshan Dickwella.